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NO BALONEY ON MY BOAT!

Many of my most cherished childhood memories are connected to the water. Many weekends found me and my family at our camp at Catahoula Lake near the levee of the great Atchafalaya Basin. Papa would often take me in his boat to plunk our fishing lines along the banks of the lake in hopes of catching a few bream or sac-a-lait.

But we also spent long weekends at my Uncle George and Aunt Eva’s camp at Cypremort Point on Vermilion Bay. There, crab traps were baited with chicken necks and more often than not we had more than we could eat by the end of the day. Sometimes Papa, Uncle George and I were up before dawn for treks to the Trash Pile, Dry Reef or Marsh Island to try our luck catching redfish or speckled trout.

On these outings, my father always brought along a pound of baloney, sliced white bread, a couple of tins of sardines and a sleeve of crackers for our lunch to be washed down with cold beers or soft drinks.

As I grew older, I came to love sailing on Lake Pontchartrain with friends. I was also lucky enough to join other friends on fishing trips into the Gulf of Mexico. Oh the glory of being on the water!

It was on one such fishing trip that Babs and Richard Grant introduced me to boat food that included ceviche, antipasto platters and pre-prepared sausage bread – nary a baloney sandwich could be found on their Hatteras they called The Sundance.

Since then I’ve been compiling recipes for food that could easily be prepared onboard or fixed ahead of your departure time to store in ice chests. The result of that effort has resulted in a book I have titled NO BALONEY ON MY BOAT, which you can now purchase right here on this website! It’s a small, portable book that’s easily stowed onboard and it gives you some alternatives to baloney sandwiches.

Here are a couple of recipes from the book that might whet your appetite.

MARINATED SHRIMP AND CORN

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt and cayenne
  • ¾ cup fresh corn (or canned, drained)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Creole mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoon finely chopped green onions
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Put the shrimp in a saucepan and cover with water. Season with salt and cayenne (or if you prefer a tablespoon or two of liquid crab and shrimp boil seasoning) and bring to a boil. Boil for two to three minutes and remove from the heat. Let stand for two to three minutes then drain. Set aside.

Steam the corn for three minutes and set aside.

Whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, green onions, parsley and black pepper in a small bowl. Combine the shrimp and corn with the marinade mixture and let stand, covered, in the refrigerator for about one hour.

SOUTHERN SAUSAGE CAKE

Makes about 8 servings – freezes well

This can be prepared in advance in a disposable 9×9/2-inch baking tin, and either frozen or refrigerated until time to be served. As it is best slightly warm or at environmental temperature, it’s usually best to take it out ahead of time. It’s a good breakfast item but it certainly is appropriate for a snack or appetizer with cocktails.

  • 1 pound hot bulk sausage
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 1 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup grated Velveeta cheese
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Cajun or Creole seasoning (I use Tony Chachere’s)
  • 2 cups Bisquick
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the sausage in a skillet over medium heat. As the sausage begins to brown, add the bell peppers and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain of excess fat. Add the cheeses, egg, hot sauce and seasoning. Mix well.

Make a batter with the Bisquick, milk and sour cream in a large mixing bowl. Gently stir in the sausage mixture and spoon into a lightly greased disposable 9×9/2-inch baking tin, spreading evenly.

Bake until browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

Cool before storing in an airtight container to freeze or refrigerate. When ready to serve, cut into squares.

Note: Bisquick is also handy for making biscuits and pancakes. Store it in an airtight container on your vessel.

SUMMER FISH DISHES

And now that summer is just about upon us, I’m sure that many of you will be heading out on fishing trips and I hope you’re lucky enough to bring in some fine catches. And if you want or need some inspiration, here are some recipes for fish of all kinds.

BROILED TROUT WITH LEMON BUTTER

Makes 6 servings

  • 6 trout (or any firm white fish) filets, each about 8 ounces
  • Salt and cayenne, to taste
  • 1 stick butter, melted and clarified
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons White Wine Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced

Preheat the broiler.

Season the fish with salt and cayenne. Place in a shallow baking dish. Combine the butter, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the fish. Broil for about five to six minutes, then turn the fish over with a spatula. Scatter the onion slices evenly over the fish and broil for about five or six minutes more. Watch carefully so as not to overcook. The fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork. Serve with the pan juices.

TROUT OR REDFISH ROULADES

Makes 6 servings

  • 6 fillets of trout or redfish, 6 to 8 ounces each
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, wiped clean, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined) or 1 pound lump crabmeat (picked over for shells and cartilage)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • Salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup fine dried bread crumbs (more or less as needed)
  • 1/2 pint half-and-half

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Pound the fillets a bit to make them lie flat. Sprinkle with lemon juice and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp or crabmeat and basil, and season with salt, black pepper and cayenne. Add ¾ cup of the chicken broth and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the bread crumbs and stir so that the mixture binds together. Remove from the heat and cool. Place a tablespoon or so of the mixture on top of the fish fillet and roll up like a jelly roll. (You may have to use a toothpick to hold the roll together.)

Place the roulades in a baking pan with the remaining ¼ cup chicken broth and the half-and half. Dot with the remaining butter. Bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes.

PAPA’S FRIED CATFISH

Makes 6 to 8 servings

  • 3 pounds catfish fillets
  • Salt and cayenne to taste
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced (separate into rings)
  • Lemon wedges
  • Tartar Sauce

Rinse the catfish in cool water and pat dry. Season the fish generously with salt and cayenne. Combine the flour and cornmeal in a shallow bowl and season with salt and cayenne.

Pour the milk into another shallow dish.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet to about 360 degrees. Dip the catfish, two to three at a time, in the milk, then dredge in the cornmeal mixture, tapping off any excess. Let sit for about one minute, then fry (two to three pieces at a time) in the hot oil. Cook for about three minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Scatter several onion rings over the fish as they cook and squeeze lemon juice over them. Repeat the process until all the fish is cooked.

Serve warm with the tartar sauce.


Posted by on May 3, 2011 in Recipes

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